Lang Wedemeyer and the SDSU soccer team reached 100 Division I wins with a 3-0 victory over the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
Wedemeyer had a chance to reach the milestone on Friday on the road against Fort Wayne, but with three goals in the first period the Mastodons ended up tying the Jackrabbits, giving Wedemeyer a chance to win No. 100 at home.
“It was really awesome,” said junior Diana Potterveld. “We knew the 100th was coming up, so we really wanted to get it. It was nice to do it at home. Obviously we wanted to win on Friday but it was nice to do it at home with all the Jackrabbit fans – it was really nice to get the win for him.”
The Jacks faced the brunt of southerly wind in the first half, but it did not keep them out of the Golden Eagles’ goal.
In the 21st minute, Potterveld attacked in transition and with the defenders drawn to her in front of the goal she slipped it to Shelby Raper who was trailing her on her right. Raper then beat goalkeeper Helen Erb with a rising shot to put SDSU up 1-0.
“I think we’re really starting to click as the season’s going forward,” Potterveld said. “We’re playing really well now. Everyone’s catching the ball. We’re passing it well. We’re just playing the soccer that we know we need to so we’re looking forward to the next game.”
SDSU again struck on a similar play in the 52nd minute as this time Potterveld found freshman Nicole Hatcher trailing her in transition and Hatcher buried it for her first career goal.
“It felt good,” Hatcher said. “It felt like it should have happened sooner, but finally.”
As the half wore on, Potterveld continued to threaten, on one occasion being tripped as she drove toward the goal and another time watching as Erb reached out and tipped her shot over the goal.
Potterveld would not be denied though, and in the 78th minute she angled a grounder just out of the reach of a diving Erb and into the back of the net for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
“I thought we scored some great goals, some really great combinations, some very quick counterattacks and some nice finishes,” Wedemeyer said.
In the final minutes, the Golden Eagles campaigned to get on the board but SDSU’s defense and luck held, giving Elisa Stamatakis the shutout and her fifth win of the season as she improved to 5-2-1.
“I still stressed [despite being up 3-0],” Wedemeyer said. “I felt like we lost a little bit of our focus after that third goal and they [the Golden Eagles] were still playing really hard. It was nice to get that shutout but we’ve got to finish the games a little bit stronger.”
After the teams shook hands on the field following the conclusion of the game, Wedemeyer’s milestone was announced and Athletic Director Justin Sell met him at midfield with an award.
“I really don’t pay a lot of attention to numbers,” Wedemeyer said. “It’s a nice award. It’s a nice honor, but we have bigger plans than one game. … It just means I’ve been coaching a while. There are a lot of great coaches in the country and there are a lot of coaches have amounted a tremendous amount of wins. For me it’s really about the players who have come through the program and how they’ve helped us maintain a pretty good level of success year in and year out.”
His players also honored Wedemeyer, giving him what he said was his first Gatorade bath and presenting him with a signed team picture.
The win vaults SDSU to 7-5-1 overall this season and 3-0-1 in Summit League play which keeps them at the top of the league standings.
“I think we’re going to be hard to beat if we keep playing like this” Hatcher said. “I think we’re a team that can play a lot of different ways and we can play to the conditions of the game so I think the rhythm is usually determined by us when we play.”
They next travel to face NDSU. Last year the Jacks defeated the Bison 1-0 on a late goal by Caylee Costello during the regular season, but NDSU took revenge with 2-1 victory in the Summit League Semifinals.
“They’re probably the biggest rivals for us but it’ll be fun to go up there and go play them there and hopefully get the win,” Potterveld said. “That’s the most important game of our season right now.”